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Apple iPhone 6 hands-on

Tony Ibrahim | Sept. 22, 2014
Can Apple's iPhone 6 fend off its better equipped Android rivals?

iPhone 6

The long awaited Apple iPhone 6 went on sale today. The next generation smartphone is bigger, faster and better equipped than its predecessors. it brings many features to existing iPhone users, although most of them have long been enjoyed by its Android rivals.

Is bigger better?
Key to the new iPhone 6 is its redesigned body. It stands 2cm taller than Apple's iPhone 5S and weighs an additional 17 grams. The Apple smartphone stands almost as tall as Samsung's Galaxy S5 flagship, and that's in spite of it having a smaller screen.

Apple has compensated for the bulk by trimming the edges down from 8mm to 7mm, but a millimetre difference isn't noticeable. The most effective way Apple has made the iPhone 6 comfortable is by rounding its corners.

The aluminium body now rounds from the back right up to the Gorilla Glass screen. The glass too has been shaved down along the edging. These touches make the iPhone 6 comfortable to hold, despite its larger screen.

Few differences set the new iPhone apart from its predecessors. The premium texture of glass no longer adorns the top and the bottom of the phone. In its place is a plastic strip necessitated by NFC and the smartphone's radio antenna. Another difference is the protruding lens of the iSight camera. Then there's the dual-LED flash, which has ditched its elliptical shape for the cleaner lines of a circle.

The power button has been shifted to the side for the sake of ergonomics. Giving it a good push delivers power to the iPhone 6's showpiece.

Improved multimedia
Upping the screen size to 4.7in is behind most of the iPhone 6's appeal. The display has a 1334x750 resolution and achieves a 326 pixel-per-inch density. Brightness levels remain the same as older model iPhones, but the iPhone 6 does have an improved contrast ratio of 1400:1 (up from 800:1).

A brief video comparison reveals the iPhone 6's screen delivers a greater sense of scope. Otherwise Apple has focussed on maintaining the quality of the display rather than improving it in clarity, brightness or colour. It's the same, only bigger.

The bigger screen adds a sense of spectacle to the iPhone's iOS 8 operating system. The software has continually led the market in design despite being confined to screens 4-inches and smaller. Running iOS on an iPhone with a 4.7in screen makes the minute details Apple has laboured on more noticeable.

Apple's revamped software introduces subtle refinements. Updates include better messaging, improved photo editing, content sharing with family members and the ability to install third-party keyboards.

Complementing the larger screen is a better speaker. Speaker quality has always been a sore point for the iPhone, and even though the next-gen model champions an improved speaker, it continues to lag behind rivals capable of stereo sound, including the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z2 and Motorola Moto G.

 

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